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Dreaded "M" word came out in lesson


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Some background...

 

I had played for a few years, messing around with tab, but never "getting it". So I decided to go back to taking lessons.

 

Hooked up with an awesome teacher. Only 5 lessons in and we're on page 28 of good 'ole Mel Bays Grade 1. My sight reading is good, so he says.

 

So I'm playing this song and he stops me immediately. "No, that's not right..you played one, twothree, onetwo, three". Just couldn't get it (along with missing that stupid A note through the whole song. (And note that he politely corrected me, not condescending at all!) :) I did get through it with him playing along at the right tempo.

 

So he says "Do you have a metronome at home" yes..."BRING IT NEXT LESSON!". And practice with it before and set it S---L---O---W!

 

So now I'm dreading practicing with a metronome and I don't know why. Wish he would have started me with in way back on "Twinkle, Twinkle" ROFL.

 

Guess I just have to suck it up and get used to it. I'm sure in a couple of months I'll look back and go "Thank god he stopped me where we were at and made sure I played with the correct tempo".

 

Any hints from the pros on practicing with a metronome?

 

tia

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I actually started a thread about opinions on practicing with a metronome not long ago. My advice is the same as your teacher's - start SLOW. Different goals require different approaches from there, so let your teacher guide you on what he wants you to do.
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Yeah, I think I just realized why I need to do this.

 

My sight reading is progressing and as soon as I "see" the next note, chord, I play it. Then my brain hesitates (or gets it right away) the next note and I'll play it. That's definatley going to lead to a jumbled tempo!

 

Plus, I think it will help me to read ahead in the music at the slow tempos which will pay huge dividends in the future when I have to sight read at a concert pace.

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A couple things to help that; (1) tap your foot on quarter notes. It becomes your drummer & doesn't really take any thought to keep it going, (2) mentally count "One and Two and Three and ..." while figuring out dotted rhythms. As always, start slowly.

 

Scott Fraser

Scott Fraser
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I learned with a metronome with my second guitar teacher. In my case I had to, because my foot wasn't very reliable. Since, I have used a metronome, I have been able to keep better time. That is one of the many good things that my guitar teacher taught me.
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I've tried that foot thing and just can't get it; maybe it will come in time (no pun intended :) ) I get more worried about tapping my foot in time vs. what I'm trying to play. I'm sure it's just of those "mental links" that will form over time.

 

I knew it was going to happen from the start, just wished he would have made me use it on the simpler stuff. Now I think I'll have to go back to that and practice it with metronome.

 

Regardless, I'm starting to look forward to it now because that's what I wanted and wasn't getting from trying to teach myself with tab!

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Just try to think of the metronome as the drummer in your band! I bet if it sounded like a kick drum to you, you might like it more! But it is SO important to work in metered time! and no real meaningful progress can be made without that part of the discipline. It will become second nature to you the longer you work with it. Your teacher is very wise, he's a keeper!!
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Your teacher has given you excellent advice. You can develop the best chops in the world but if your rhythm isn't solid, your playing will suffer. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you're playing well, but with something setting the beat, you'll play much better in the long run.

 

If I have time before a gig, I frequently practice tunes and licks with my drum machine on, which forces me to stay in rhythm.

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I just got John Pattitucci's Rock Discipline, and have been practicing with a metronome all weekend. It's been a lot of fun. Work on a passage until you have it cold at a given tempo, then go up 8 bpm and repeat.

 

I have the world's most expensive metronome  I made a program on my Alesis Andromeda synth. Of course it was cheap for me, because it was sitting right there already.

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I just got John Pattitucci's Rock Discipline, and have been practicing with a metronome all weekend. It's been a lot of fun. Work on a passage until you have it cold at a given tempo, then go up 8 bpm and repeat. You can always get a drum machine and set it for some conga pattern to make it more fun to listen to.

 

I have the world's most expensive metronome  I made a program on my Alesis Andromeda synth. Of course it was cheap for me, because it was sitting right there already.

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Hate to see you spend more cash but I found drum machines far superior to a standard metronome. I could never hear the things, even with an acoustic, whereas I can crank a drum machine and get the floor thumping (plug it into the aux input on a SS amp). I find it much easier to keep a beat if it's LOUD!

 

You'll see a huge improvement in your playing in no time.

www.myspace.com/darcyhoover
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Originally posted by Billster:

Check out this clip. Listen to the high pitched click of teh metronome. At the end, he discusses setting up the metronome.(BTW, Tomo RuLeZ! :thu: )

Bill, that was a great clip. I checked out some of his others as well. I hadn't heard of Tomo before. Thanks!! :thu:

 

As for sightreading, I found it very helpfull at first to separate counting rhythms from note recognition. Try practicing just the rhythms with a metronome. Just pick any single note and play the rhythms as written. By isolating the counting part of reading, you can focus your full attention to it, learn where all the beats are, and it soon becomes second-nature. You can also practice note recogniiton and location independent of rhythm as well. Then putting the two together becomes far easier.

 

Paul

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As for sightreading, I found it very helpfull at first to separate counting rhythms from note recognition. Try practicing just the rhythms with a metronome. Just pick any single note and play the rhythms as written. By isolating the counting part of reading, you can focus your full attention to it, learn where all the beats are, and it soon becomes second-nature.
I'll clap out the rhythms the first time I read through a piece.
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The metronome is my friend.

 

The metronome is your friend.

 

The metronome is our friend.

 

Write this at least 200 times, but make sure you put a metronome on and you write on the beat.

 

This will make it easier. Talk to your metronome. It's good to talk to it, b/c unlike your drummer, the metronome listens to you and won't talk back, although it won't follow your tempo. Na-huh. It won't try to steal your girlfriend either using cheap sleazy comments (the type of thing you'd expect coming from a drummer's mind). It won't sing parts to you totally out of pitch trying to tell you what to play. It won't get high or drink too much.

 

www.metronomeonline.com

"Without music, life would be a mistake."

--from 'Beyond Good and Evil', by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

My MySpace Space

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LOL @ Millo :)

 

Yeah, tried it out last night...put it at slowest setting - 30 bpm. That was WAY TOO painfully slow. I couldn't hit the note "on" the click; there just seemed to be to much "wait time" between. I'll have to give it another go tonight. I was just playing really, really simple stuff too.

 

I did nail Twinkle, Twinkle at 75 bpm; so that felt pretty cool. And I was able to get the count/beat started in my head and was able to tap the beat with my foot too.

 

It's a start :) Not going to laying out the lead to Free Bird anytime soon, but I would rather learn to play accurate first.

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Forgot to ask this.

 

Say I'm playing in 4:4 time. First measure is quarter note, then 2 eight notes, then 2 more eight notes and then a quarter note.

 

I play the quarter note on the click, then the FIRST eight note on the click. Does the next eight note fall BEFORE the next click?

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If you count out the beat like "one, two, three, four", then your rhythm would be "One, Two and three and Four"

 

So you have:

Click----------Click------------Click----------Click

One-----------Two-----and---Three---and---Four

 

Concentrate on getting the 1/8 notes even. This is known as "subdividing" a beat.

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Oh goody, this is going to be fun (he said sarcastically) :)

 

I'm really going to have to focus on this methinks. I know it's going to lay the foundation I'll have for years and years; just have to work through the frustration.

 

Guess I can liken it to learning how to type:

asdf jkl; aassddff jjkkll;; Now, 60 wpm is a breeze :)

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This is where tapping your foot comes in. It's worth persevering with. If you tap on the quarter notes (4 to a bar) then the 1/8 notes should happen either on the tap or on the point at which your foot is highest. In your example, your third and fifth notes would be played as your foot reaches its highest point.

Try tapping your foot to the guitar rhythm while singing (out loud or in your head) or tapping on a table beofre playing it.

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Just to clarify,

 

Whole notes get four beats:

 

1------- Note

1-2-3-4- Beat (On the metronome)

 

Half notes get two beats:

 

1---2--- Note

1-2-3-4- Beat (On the metronome)

 

Quarter notes get 1 beat each:

 

1-2-3-4- Note

1-2-3-4- Beat (On the metronome)

 

Eighth notes get a half beat each:

 

1&2&3&4& Note

1-2-3-4- Beat (On the metronome)

 

When counting eighth notes, actually say the word "AND" in between each click of your metronome ie. One, and, Two, and, Three, and, Four, and.

 

Also, I recommend starting at a speed where you can play flawlessly. Don't start too slow or you will not be able to feel the beat (As you noticed).

 

Once you can play flawlessly at a certain speed, bump it up a little bit. When you find yourself making mistakes, back it down a notch and work from there.

 

Keep doing this, until you have your speed up, to where you want it. Your sense of timing will improve just through this type of practise.

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Good advice (as usual) from all...thanks!

 

I'v noticed that my practice sessions are somewhat fragmented...play some scale warmups, practice last week's piece, try something new, noodle around.

 

I'm going to write out a schedule (or will take suggestions from ya'll :) ) with something more formal. No sense spending an hour that's not focused.

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There is a video I'm going to get by John McGann, the fine mandolinist, on the creative use of the metronome:

 

"Rhythm Tune-Up" where he addresses lots of issues:

 

Playing on beats 1 & 3 vs. 2 & 4. 8th notes: straight vs. swing 8ths. Shuffles.. Celtic jigs... funk... playing ahead of, behind, or in the center of the beat...

 

I haven't heard it, but I did get a great CD by him of classical arrangements for mandolin, mandola and mandocello.

 

I better stop here before someone thinks I'm his press agent! For the record, I never met the man... not that I wouldn't want to!!

 

When I get it, I'll invite the whole band I'm in to listen... not that any of us have CRAPPY rhythm, but you can always take it to the next level.

 

PS And there are other rhythm study things available where you clap along to the CD and read the notes at the same time... I'm OK with the quarter, eighth and sixteenths, but when you get into the crazy syncopations and 7/8 and 9/16, well, it's challenging!

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I work to a metronome all the time. I like to walk around my house while I practice unplugged and a metronome is portable and not too loud. (Okay, I'm revealing one of my idiosyncracies).

 

Having a rock solid sense of rhythm is the first ingredient to becoming a great groove player. And whether it's lead or rhythm guitar, it ain't nothin' if it don't groove.

 

Hang in there...you'll get it! There's been lots of good advice given here so I don't need to pile on other than to just encourage. Good for you for working on it...you'll be so glad you did.

Laurie Morvan Band

www.lauriemorvan.com

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